EDITOR, The Tribune.
My wife and I are and have been permanent residents of The Bahamas for the past 23 years. We spend our summers in British Columbia in Canada and seven-eight months in The Bahamas. We left The Bahamas in May this year and would like to return soon so have been keeping abreast of the entry requirements, which seem to change weekly. At this point we need a negative COVID-19 test upon entry which cannot be older than five days from the date of the test.
I was looking at the Bahamas government’s web site which also says that a medical visa, including the COVID-19 test results, must be e-mailed to the government at least 72 hours before entry. As this requires us to send the COVID-19 test results three days in advance of our proposed entry, it only leaves us two days to receive the test results and send them to the Bahamian government.
Our problem is that the British Columbia government will not allow anyone to get a COVID-19 test for solely travel purposes and has officially decreed that message. As a result of this there are now two private clinics which will provide a COVID-19 test for $400 per test, but will not guarantee to get your results to you within 48 hours. The clinics are also not in our city of Victoria so we have to travel to Vancouver to get the tests, knowing we may not get the results in time to meet the Bahamian entry requirements. So we have to gamble about $1,200 for the tests and air travel to Vancouver and back not knowing if we will get timely results which will allow us to get back to The Bahamas.
The Bahamian government could alleviate this by allowing seven not five days for a valid COVID-19 test result, or stating that the COVID-19 test results could be e-mailed to them within 24 hours, not 72 hours which is the requirement now.
We understand and agree with the requirements for re-entry but these may prevent us, and many others from coming back to our home in The Bahamas.
November 14, 2020.